A Brief History of LessWrong

by Ruby 6mo1st Jun 20191 min readNo comments

20


In 2006, Eliezer Yudkowsky, Robin Hanson, and others began writing on Overcoming Bias, a group blog with the general theme of how to move one’s beliefs closer to reality despite biases such as overconfidence and wishful thinking. In 2009, after the topics drifted more widely, Eliezer moved to a new community blog, LessWrong.

LessWrong was seeded with series of daily blog posts written by Eliezer, originally known as The Sequences, and more recently compiled into an edited volume, Rationality: A-Z. These writings attracted a large community of readers and writers interested in the art of human rationality.

In 2015-2016 the site underwent a steady decline of activity leading some to declare the site dead. In 2017, a team led by Oliver Habryka took over the administration and development of the site, relaunching it on an entirely new codebase later that year.

The new project, dubbed LessWrong 2.0, was the first time LessWrong had a full-time dedicated development team behind it instead of only volunteer hours. Site activity recovered from the 2015-2016 decline and has remained at steady levels since the launch.

The team behind LessWrong 2.0 has ambitions not limited to maintaining the original LessWrong community blog and forum. The LessWrong 2.0 team conceives of itself more broadly as an organization attempting to build community, culture, and technology which will drive intellectual progress on the world’s most pressing problems.